Lean Body Mass Calculator

August 21, 2014 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Health Calculators

Calculate your Lean Body Mass

To use this calculator you need to have your percentage of body fat (Body Fat Calculator) While we often focus on BMI and focus on the percentage of fat in the body, the amount of lean muscle may be a better place to focus.

Muscle is 18% denser than Fat

Muscle and fat differ in density (muscle is about 18% more dense than fat) and one pound of muscle occupies less space (volume) than one pound of fat. A cubic centimetre of muscle and a cubic centimetre of fat are measured, the cubic centimetre of muscle will weigh more. As you add compact muscle mass to the body, body weight may increase. Therefore it is not just the numbers on the scale that matter. For this reason it is important to pay attention to your body measurements.

  • Cross section across skeletal muscle = more dense
  • Cross section across fat tissue = less dense
  • Five pounds of muscle compared to five pounds of fat

Muscle is less “lumpy” under your skin and in between your organs than the same weight in fat (shown on left). Five pounds of smooth, lean, dense muscle tissue inside of my body than five pounds of amorphous, bulky, gelatinous fat! Aside from a muscular body being compact and more attractive, there are also many health advantages to increased muscle mass.

Benefits of having more lean muscle mass

Having more muscle mass in your body will:

  • Create a more attractive and leaner physique
  • Reduce your risk of injury during sports or every day activities
  • Increase strength, stability, power and endurance
  • Improve balance and mobility (an important factor, particularly, in aging populations)
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Increase energy and vitality
  • Improve athletic performance and greater ability to endure active day-to-day tasks, such as house and yard maintenance.
  • Create metabolic reserve in times of traumas such as (car accidents and burns)
  • Increase your metabolic efficiency
  • Improve insulin sensitivity and improve blood glucose control

These are just some of the many advantages of having more lean muscle mass. The two most important benefits listed: “Increase your metabolic efficiency” and “Improve insulin sensitivity and improve glucose control.” are most significant from a health point of view.

Increase your metabolic efficiency

Each pound of fat that your body stores represents 3,500 calories of unused energy. In order to lose one pound, you have to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories by either consuming 3,500 less calories over a period of time than your body needs or by doing 3,500 calories worth of exercise. It is probably easier to reduce calories than it is to do 3500 calories worth of additional exercise.

By increasing your lean muscle mass through resistance and body weight training, you will help your body burn more calories. One pound of muscle will burn slightly more calories at rest than one pound of fat tissue at rest. This is also helpful for speeding weight loss, as long as calories are controlled.

Focus on all of the health benefits of having more muscle mass, not just on the calorie burning abilities of muscle

Health and fitness professionals across the world put a lot of emphasis on the “muscle is a high-octane calorie incinerator” concept and even exaggerate the actual amount of calories muscles burn while at rest. Recent scientific research has proven this number to be inflated. One such study was led by Claude Bouchard, an obesity researcher from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA. His collected data over the years has revealed that one pound of muscle, at rest, burns about six calories a day while one pound of fat burns about two calories per day. Six is a lot different than the 50-100 calories that is often stated by others in the health and medical fields.

Muscle can help balance insulin sensitivity and blood glucose levels within the body is of greater interest than one pound of muscle burning an extra four calories more than one pound of fat. The strongest factor in insulin management may well be the exercise itself, rather than the percentage of lean muscle mass. When the body’s endocrine system is working properly, it is much easier to maintain a healthy weight. When insulin sensitivity and glucose management is not functioning properly, weight management (and loss) becomes a very difficult task. Combine healthy insulin and glucose control with an increased resting metabolic rate (RMR), and you have a win-win situation.

Improve insulin sensitivity and better glucose control

In 2011, researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism that muscle mass strongly correlates with improved insulin sensitivity within the body. It has been noted that with a 10% increase in skeletal muscle index (a measure of how much muscle is on the body), HOMA-IR (a measure of insulin resistance) saw a relative reduction of 11%. It may be a question of which comes first, the chicken or the egg. The exercise that brings about more muscle mass, may lead to stress reduction, and may alter the use of and production of insulin.

People with a higher insulin sensitivity have better glucose control and ultimately, lower rates of diabetes. This is great stuff because when a person is insulin sensitive, he/she can handle glucose well, which means less dietary glucose will turn into body fat and less insulin is necessary to keep body systems operating optimally.

No matter what, exercise and weight control are important factors in health and in preventing not only diabetes, but also cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and even osteoarthritis.

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